Thursday, February 12, 2009

My two cents

Abe Lincoln is probably enjoying the redesign of his coin — or is he in an economy such as ours?
From the AP:
The first of four new pennies chronicling Abraham Lincoln's rise from a small Kentucky cabin will be put into circulation Thursday to honor the 16th president's 200th birthday.

The coin's front is unchanged, but the reverse depicts a tiny log cabin, representing the one-room dwelling where Lincoln was born near Hodgenville, Kentucky.

The new one-cent piece is being unveiled by the U.S. Mint as part of Lincoln's bicentennial celebration, being held Thursday morning near his birthplace.

The remaining coins, set for release later this year, show other phases of Honest Abe's life: a young man reading while sitting on a log during his formative years in Indiana; Lincoln the state legislator speaking in front of the Illinois capitol; and the unfinished dome of the U.S. Capitol.

Doesn't it make you wonder how much the redesign cost and if it benefits us as a taxpayers whatsoever? Several Web sites I read claim that it costs anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 cents to make an individual copper-plated zinc penny.

So, if it costs more to produce a coin than what it's worth, what's the point?

A letter to the editor on the Daily Herald's web site has some good points:

"The costs associated with redesigning and reissuing the penny, instead of simply retiring it, are nothing compared with staggering deficits, trade imbalances and bailouts that are going on."

Another site I read said that five billion pennies, which is worth $50 million, will cost about $70 million to make.

I don't know about you, but $20 million is a lot of dough to waste.

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